Staggering essay by historian Timothy Snyder, published last weekend in The New York Times, accompanied by startling photographs of the Capitol insurrection by Ashley Gilbertson.
There’s a drumbeat to this essay I find remarkable. It is a sprawling, serious, and complex argument, but the essay wastes not a word. Each sentence builds upon the last; each paragraph furthers the argument toward its inexorable conclusion:
America will not survive the big lie just because a liar is
separated from power. It will need a thoughtful repluralization of
media and a commitment to facts as a public good. The racism
structured into every aspect of the coup attempt is a call to heed
our own history. Serious attention to the past helps us to see
risks but also suggests future possibility. We cannot be a
democratic republic if we tell lies about race, big or small.
Democracy is not about minimizing the vote nor ignoring it,
neither a matter of gaming nor of breaking a system, but of
accepting the equality of others, heeding their voices and
counting their votes.
I implore you not merely to read it, but to study it.
★ Tuesday, 12 January 2021